In the States, I simply walked out to the mailbox, opened it up, grabbed the contents, and went back inside to open it in the privacy of my home. If there was a package too big for the mailbox, often it was placed on top of the mailbox or even brought right up to the front porch. Only occasionally would I ever find a note that said I needed to go to the post office to pick up a CLOSED package. Simple. I would go pick it up. Again, I would go inside my home and open it. No one but my family and me would know the contents of the box. If I wanted to, I could even go in my room and open it away from the prying eyes of my children.
Privacy. Secrets. Hidden things. Safe.
Mail is not delivered. We have to go pick it up at the post office thirty minutes away. We have a mailbox with a lock. It only holds letters. The people at the post office may (or may not) have opened the letters when we get them. Usually they are not opened, but nothing is guaranteed here. If there is a package, we find a little slip of paper telling us to go get it from a desk downstairs.
Upon entering the room full of people, we make our way to the front of the line. (Usually it is my husband going, thankfully.) When he gets in front, he hands them the slip of paper and they get his package. Then they place it on the table and open it right there in front of everyone, spreading the contents on the table. Whatever is in that package is now open for all to see. (I am glad I wasn't there the day he picked up undergarments my mother-in-law sent me for my birthday. I sure am thankful for the undergarments, but that would have been embarrassing!)
The person at the desk comes up with a customs price, Jason pays for the package and heads on his way.
I can honestly say, I don't much care for people knowing what is in my packages. We have to constantly remind people to be careful about what goes in a package... including what words they use to describe us in letters. There are so many things I just would prefer to be secret.
But this whole scenario reminds me of something else. There is coming a day when the secret parts of my heart will be completely manifest. They will be open for all to see. When the Lord, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, opens my heart package and reveals not just my works, but what sort of works they were, what will He find? What will be laid out on the table for all to see?
Will He find embarrassing things like selfish motives? Will He find hay-filled bags of eye service where I made myself look very busy when others were watching? Will He find works of stubble done grudgingly? A bag or two of obligation? Wooden piles of things done in the power of the flesh? Prideful things of self-exaltation?
I would so much rather Him find a heart package full of faith gold and stones of self-sacrifice viewed as privilege. I would rather Him find works wrapped in a big shiny silver bow of love and devotion to Him. I would rather Him find golden bottles of tears from a humble and contrite heart. I want Him to find things that I totally relied upon Him and His strength to do... things He did THROUGH me.
I hate to think of many of the things I have already shipped in my package that will one day be opened before my Lord. He will not be judging me for my sin. No, that was judged on the cross and secured when I accepted Christ as Saviour. (Oh, how thankful I am that I will not be at THAT judgment!) But I am afraid I will have a few tears to shed when He places the package of my works on the table for all to see, and tries it by fire.
Ladies, it isn't just doing things that pleases God. Motive, method, and manner matters.
Time to check the contents of my package before shipping...
--Charity, Southern Asia